December 29, 2014

A forgotten FO and nearly FO!

Filed under:Finished Objects,Knitting,Sewing — Aileen @ 09:00

I realised after publishing my last post that I had, in fact, never shared with you my new kit bag!

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I sometimes have a piano lesson on a Thursday evening in Rathmines. One day I was early so I decided to avail of the opportunity and pay a visit to Sew. It was my first time visiting so I wasn’t expecting what lay in store – a wonderful little nook bursting with fabric, notions, ideas and inspiration! They have a classroom, too, where they teach a full range of classes.

I fell in love with the sewing-themed fabric and bought a fat quarter and a matching solid to make this bag. I used the Open Wide Zipper Pouch tutorial by Noodlehead. It’s excellent! I wanted a bag big enough to tote a fairly substantial project, such as a shawl or a sleeve, and it fits the bill perfectly.

Another FO I forgot to show you is a very simple black skirt.

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As you can see, I had to brighten the photo up considerably but you get the idea! I used a black scuba fabric from Michael H fabric basement (about €8 I think) and I have quite a bit left. The pattern I used was the Shadi skirt from the recent Named collection. I tapered between sizes 38-40 I think, because it’s very close fitting. I think it was originally designed as a type of slip. I have been wearing the heck out it and I think I’m going to add at least one more pencil skirt to my wardrobe – you can wear them with anything and you immediately look dressed up.

Lastly, I have for you my ‘nearly’ FO. I had to leave this to one side to work on something else that I hope to share with you very soon. On the same day I bought the black scuba above, I also bought some houndstooth wool check for a simple winter dress.

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There is a lot of dart detail so it turned out to be slower going than anticipated. I just tacked the sides together and threw it on to see if it fitted. It was my first time sewing from a Japanese pattern book so I was unsure. My doubts were misplaced, though, as the finished measurements were spot on, and the fit is perfect. I simply have to sew the sides so that the pattern matches and sew in the lining.

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December 28, 2014

Good tidings of comfort and joy, comfortandjoy!

Filed under:News! — Aileen @ 15:38

Hi folks! I hope everyone is having a cool Yule! My pre-Christmas period was typically busy with concerts and, as a result, I didn’t have much making to share here. I did, however, receive a request for mittens! Well, who am I to turn down such a request?

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They’re for my dad and I made them using leftover Jamieson Shetland wool. They should be pretty warm and sturdy.  I used a free pattern I found on Ravelry, the Podster gloves. I used it as a base – after knitting one, I needed to make the wrist narrower and increase between the thumb and opening for more room. I left out the thumb opening.

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In fact, even though the pattern is written for about a 4-ply yarn, you could easily adapt it for any other weight. As you can see, you just work a normal fingerless mitt and then pick up for the flap. They went down pretty well!

The rest of my holiday so far has looked a lot like this:

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Cutting out some new sewing patterns and knitting out of my new knitting bag that I made at the beginning of the month. The last time I was in This is Knit, I fell foul to a new alpaca-silk yarn from Fyberspates called ‘Cumulus’. It’s a bit like Kid Silk Haze only fluffier and not so much of a sheen. It is a more substantial yarn and much more suited to garments and hard-core accessories. Kid Silk Haze is beautiful but much more delicate.

Anyway, I decided to get 3 balls – they’re about 150m each – and make a woolly shawl. I love the colour palette of this yarn line, with plenty of saturated colours as well as super-useful neutrals. In the end I went for a dark teal. I’m about half a repeat away from the edging.

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The yarn is quite a saturated colour so some dye comes off on my hands. However, it washes off without soap so I’m confident that a good soak will be adequate when I finish.

As for the sewing patterns I’ve been chopping up, they’re for my January plans. I have rather lot of winter skirts but not so many dresses. I have three heavy wool sheaths that are perfect for very cold, damp weather but nothing in between. I acquired two wool crepes – navy and dark pink – and a turquoise thick knit to make some simple dresses. I think a princess panel dress is very flattering but boy, did I ever have to search for a suitable pattern! The one on the left is what I went for in the end.

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See the orangey model on the right? It has a vent in the back but isn’t lined. That was the closest I could find. Ideally I would like instructions to line it but a quick Google found me plenty of tutorials, so I feel confident enough to give it a go.

The blouse pattern on the right – phffff isn’t the cover art unflattering?! I would never have given this pattern a go if not for Lladybird‘s many reviews and high recommendation. I bided my time and pounced during one of their 99c sales. Did you know that these online sales are available to consumers outside the US? The same goes for Simplicity, Vogue, McCall’s etc. There is, unfortunately, a $15 shipping fee but that seems to be a fairly flat rate. So let’s pretend you buy four patterns, it works out to be about $20 in total and still far cheaper than buying them within Europe. It’s even better value if you order with a friend and order a good few to dilute the shipping. Just FYI!

That’s all my news for now… As you can see, even when I’m busy, the wheels keep turning! It’s been a lovely holiday and I’m looking forward to the new year, whatever it may bring. I hope you all enjoy the dying days of 2014.

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